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Three Strangers (1946)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 947 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 12 critic

Three strangers, each with a serious problem in their lives, share a sweepstakes ticket which they wished upon together before a Chinese idol.

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(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Crystal Shackleford
...
Johnny West
...
Icey Crane
Robert Shayne ...
Bertram Fallon
Marjorie Riordan ...
Janet Elliott
Arthur Shields ...
Prosecutor
Rosalind Ivan ...
Lady Rhea Belladon
John Alvin ...
Junior Clerk
Peter Whitney ...
Timothy Delaney aka Gabby
...
David Shackleford
Clifford Brooke ...
Senior Clerk
Doris Lloyd ...
Mrs. Proctor
Edit

Storyline

According to a legend, if three strangers gather before an idol of Kwan Yin (the Chinese goddess of fortune and destiny) on the night of the Chinese New Year and make a common wish, Kwan Yin will open her eyes and her heart and grant the wish. In London 1938 on the Chinese New Year, Crystal Shackleford has such an idol and decides to put the legend to the test. She picks two random strangers off the street, and puts the proposition to them. They decide that an ideal wish would be for a sweepstakes ticket they buy equal shares in to be a winner. After all, everyone needs money and a pot is very easy to divide equally, right? Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

BREATHTAKING SUSPENSE - THRILLS! (original ad - all caps)

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 January 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

3 Desconhecidos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Robert Osborne of TCM, this film was at one point intended to be a sequel to "The Maltese Falcon." Following the success of that film, Warner Bros. wanted to make a sequel. Falcon write/director John Huston said he'd previously written an un-filmed scrip for Warner Bros. that would be appropriate and would only required the character names to be changed to the Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet and Mary Astor characters. However, Warner Bros. discovered they did not own the rights to the characters except for their appearance in "The Maltese Falcon." See more »

Quotes

Jerome K. Arbutny: I'll stay and witness your miracle as you call it. If it happens at midnight, we have only five minutes to go.
Jerome K. Arbutny: That gives us just time to make our wish.
Jerome K. Arbutny: Wish?
Crystal Shackleford: Yes, I mentioned that Kwan Yin would not only open her eyes but her heart as well. Whatever we ask for she will grant.
Johnny West: Oh, that's the kind of lady I like.
Crystal Shackleford: The only difficulty is it has to be the same wish for three of us.
Johnny West: What could that possibly be?
Crystal Shackleford: I've been thinking about it for several days. You see, the wish I had my heart set on ...
[...]
See more »

Soundtracks

I Dreampt I Dwelt in Marble Halls
(uncredited)
Written by Michael Balfe and Alfred Bunn (1843)
Played by Johnny on broken record in prison cell.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
engrossing fare
29 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Three Strangers" has long been a favorite film of mine, with its fascinating reference to the statue of the goddess Kwan Yin, who, in Chinese legend, opens her eyes and grants a wish to three strangers on the Chinese New Year. Geraldine Fitzgerald, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre are the above-mentioned strangers, each with an agenda that can be easily pursued by money. So the wish is that their sweepstakes ticket win, and the agreement is that it then be entered into the horse race that follows.

Geraldine Fitzgerald's character seems sympathetic, but she reveals herself as quite obsessive and delusional as the film progresses. Greenstreet plays a crooked solicitor, and Lorre portrays a small time criminal - he's the most sympathetic character and, to my mind, gives the most memorable performance.

The film asks the question - did the meeting of the three strangers change their lives, or did events proceed as they would have? This is an unusual, absorbing, and entertaining film. I highly recommend it.


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